The following is commentary intended for discussion. Add your comments!
To be clear I'm not advising anything. I'm not saying any particular person should or should not get any particular Covid-19 vaccination. As CDC says, it's a very individual calculus depending upon things like your age, risk factors of each, availability of vaccine, allergies, and more.
And I don't have the scientific answer to the questions I"m posing here, I'm just trying to generate some discussion. But...
Does it seem like there's something strange about Covid-19?
As deadly as it proved to be in places like New York City, I have travelled the country in the past year, hitting many of the "hottest spots." And I've also visited many places that never shut down after March that had so little impact from coronavirus, it amounts to almost nothing. It's not that coronavirus didn't come to their towns; it just didn't have the devastating impact as it spread through the community.
One mid-sized community I visited for an unrelated story explained to me that they opened their schools as normal last fall and had no discernible negative impact. No Covid spikes.
Another small community I visited that didn't shut down anything after Covid struck also reports minimal impact. Their schools even played a full fall season of sports with no apparent impact.
Yet another community I visited decided to host a major fair that was not being allowed in the normal community due to Covid, and never had a mask mandate, but reports no remarkable spike.
Then I look at other places that have been sealed pretty tightly for a year-- and did have spikes.
I look at what N.Y. Governor Andrew Cuomo first flagged a little less than a year ago: most of the hospitalized patients toward the end of their initial spike reported having isolated at home. He said it was not the homeless population or those who were going out who were getting seriously ill and ending up in New York hospitals.
And, of course, Florida and California have been widely compared as it as noticed the state that didn't stay locked down (Florida) seemed to fare no worse, or maybe had better results, than California, which did stay tightly closed. That's even though Florida has a heavy population of most at-risk elderly residents.
It seems there is much to be learned from these anecdotes. Scientists surely could study the experiences of the communities that had good fortune, despite not practicing strict, recommended procedures. Is there some knowledge that other communities could benefit from-- maybe even the mere fact that their communities fared pretty well without destroying their schools and economies?
Is there something to be learned for next time?
One final point of discussion.
According to metrics provided by scientists that I read, regarding how fast Covid spreads and how many people get it without suffering symptoms, I believe it has largely worked its way through the US population by now (if their projections are correct).
So, as the infection rate declines (with less testing), vaccines may be credited with saving the day. But is it also due in large part to the fact that Covid has already worked its way through most people?
Again, this is not to say there isn't great potential value in the vaccines! And it's certainly not to advise one way or another on whether people should get one (or the boosters soon to be offered). There are too many unknowns within the science to be able to say too much with certainty at this point.
What do you think?